Light

It has been a long week. When not on indexes I was on maps. Trying to coordinate delivery, meet client expectations, maximize understanding of concepts by the delegation… It was a daunting one. I am glad it’s finally Friday. This means that I am done with this initial engagement and I can finally travel home to prepare for what’s coming.

Joel told me I shouldn’t miss our presidential elections. I don’t plan to.

I have  already packed so I freshen up fast, put on a new shirt and request the hotel to call me a cab. Meanwhile, I finish up everything entailing my stay there ensuring that there’s no single proof that I was ever there. I even wipe off my fingerprints off the window seals, the handset, the shower knob, the bed stand…. I then use some bleach to clear my DNA from the scene… hehe

After checking out, I notice it’s getting chilly but I have no sweater or hood. I always carry one but provided I have been on a beach resort all along, it didn’t seem necessary.

The cab guy is an over bearded Swahili gentleman in combat shorts, a designer t-shirt and some Adidas sandals. His Swahili is as heavy as the rest. Only that it is traveled Swahili. He packs my single suitcase in the boot and we head off to Dar after endless kwaheris from the delighted clients and hotel staff.

What’s visiting a country without tasting their nightlife?

I arrive in Dar some minutes past nine , check in to another hotel, secure my suitcases and head out to look for a bureau de change to convert some money for the adventure ahead. I prefer a bajaji to a cab primarily because of their flexibility though they are more expensive. We drive around since most exchange points are closed but we manage to get someone who does the conversion for a commission. People gotta eat. Right?

The next stop is Maisha. Maisha means life so I imagine that there has to be some life into that place. I am given several other options by the bajaji driver but I choose Maisha. I will always choose life…

I am hungry. I a m cold and a little bit exhausted. Thus being my last night here I plan to make it the best yet.

After paying 10 Gs at the entrance I head inside to unfortunately find an almost empty club. I am heartbroken. The club is neatly packed, shades of red and black on bar stools and the only thing I notice is that all waitresses are in blazers.

The place is cold. Too cold. After a few minutes of boring music, freezing temperatures and a boring ambiance I am contemplating on going to sleep. I wont bore myself to death in this place.

But because I am a christian and I believe in second chances, I call a waitress and ask for a cold sprite. A sprite. That should tell you something. She tries to smile but then I am not in my best spirits having wasted my time and resources to check into a lifeless disco parlor..hehe

What happens here? I ask the polite girl. She is in a white tshirt, some ugly shorts and a black blazer. “Hamna show leo” she smilingly answers me back. She is excited. Maybe its my funny accent. Maybe its because I am literally shaking.

I order some chicken wings to calm my hunger as i slowly sip my sprite.

People are trickling in. Just like someones votes during last months elections. At least theres some hope for the club. The reason I don’t head out is because I dont know my way around town. Its also some minutes to midnight. So I stay put.

The wings are delicious. Being a Kenyan I order some Tanzanian beer. Apparently, some guys take wine kwa club in Tanzania. Fully grown men. I find that weird. Maybe its because I am too Kenyanized. I need to go out more.

Its midnight and the place is packed. I always thought Kenyan ladies were fly. Mamas down here?…. They are dancing all over the place and their dresses are miles above the knee. If not dresses, the shorts are even flimsier. They can dance also.

Except one. There must have been more but she is the only one I notice. I think its because she has a bucket full of wine bottles on her table. Maybe its because she is taking some soft drink direct from a can. She is facing the dancing stage. She cant see me primarily because I am directly behind her. She has some conservative blouse,loosely fitting black trousers and some lacoste white slip on shoes. She looks unbothered by the whining, dancing and gyranting.

She sipped her drink purposefully.

When Seduce me by ALi Kiba started playing, she stood up. More like erupted from her seat. The song touched a part of her… She sang along to the lyrics… Then she noticed me watching her. She smiled and sat down. She didnt fancy an audience. But I was drawn in.

Fast forward…

Its around 4:45 and I have had enough. I need to leave.

“I am leaving”

“Waitwa nani?”

“My name is Ken”

“Naitwa Light”

“Light?”

“Yes… naitwa Lightness”

“Pleasure to meet you Lightness” I say as I stretch my hand. She has soft palms. Her nails are expensively manicured.

“Nafurahi pia”

“I am leaving and I might not be back in a while”

“Then nipe number yako”

“Will you call me if I do?”

“Hapana, give me your phone nikupe yangu pia so that you can call me”

+254 721 … … I key in the digits on her italicized keypad.

“Unasafiri kurudi Kenya kesho?”

“That’s the plan. I wish I could stay longer but I have had a long week. I hope to see you the next time I am around”

“Same”

I then order three of whatever it is she is taking and start walking out. Something inside me wants to stay longer but my head is demanding for some rest. I feel her eyes on my back as I head up the stairs.

I will see her again soon.

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